In the ongoing battle against piracy, Disney and Sony have made a bold step: they’re both testing an on-demand service (in, um, South Korea) which allows people to rent movies and stream them in their own homes while they’re still playing in cinemas.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony and Disney are the first of the American studios to offer viewers with the option to either buy a ticket for the cinema or just watch it in their own home using pay TV or the internet. So far, Django Unchained, Wreck-it Ralph and Brave have all been offered up under the scheme.
While it’s the first time that streaming and cinema options have been available from the off, the exclusive 90-day play window has been broken before in the past. In May, Upstream Color hit iTunes and Amazon Instant Video after a month in cinemas, and there have been a handful of European trials along similar lines.
Whether the trial will prove successful remains to be seen, of course — but, if it is, it might not be too long before the other major Hollywood studios try something similar. If that happens, it might be time for cinemas to start worrying. [WSJ]